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Frequently Asked Occasional Table Questions

Occasional tables can provide storage in a living room, give guests a spot to rest their drinks, and add subtle drama to your decor by presenting a place for artwork, a lamp, or a plant. Ashley has a wide selection of accent tables and occasional tables, from rustic farmhouse designs to modern openwork styles. They come in a variety of sizes, too, so you will find one that fits just where you need it.

Types of Occasional Tables

People refer to occasional tables by several names, typically accent tables. However, designers say that any small table qualifies as an occasional table as long as it’s meant mainly for display, decoration, or even storage. Occasional tables also fall under these categories:
  • End tables or side tables, such as those next to a sofa, recliner, or bed
  • Coffee tables
  • Console tables, also called sofa tables or entryway tables
  • Nesting tables also called bunching or stacking tables
  • Drum tables, a term for round occasional tables that have substantial depth

What are Occasional Tables Used for?

Occasional tables have many uses. Use them to display home accents such as decorative vases, family photos, or a seasonal arrangement of faux plants or flowers. A small grouping of faux succulents on the coffee table, for instance, conveys a laid-back vibe whenever you enter the room.

Accent tables offer a helpful place for you and your guests to rest a drink or a snack. They’re also great for lighting a room using table lamps. Designers recommend choosing a lamp about one-third the width of the table to start with the right proportions. Then get ready to curl up with your favorite book.

An end table or side table with a drawer is the perfect spot to store remotes, coasters, and other items you’d like to keep nearby. A design with a shelf provides just enough space to stack a display of coffee table books or a storage basket for those small items you tuck away each day. Some styles also include USB ports so you can charge your smartphone and other electronics neatly.

An entryway table is ideal for a lamp, picture frames, a decorative tray, or decorative bowl—one attractive way to hold your house keys.

You also can use occasional tables outdoors. Garden stools are round occasional tables made from metal or ceramic in rich hues, adding a splash of color to the garden, a perch for a drink, and a seat in a pinch. The best part about occasional tables is their size. Because they’re small, they move easily, so you can change your room’s look just by swapping tables from one room to another.